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Problems for widows in developing countries

International Widows’ Day – June 23

The United Nations observes 23 June as International Widows Day (resolution A/RES/65/189) since 2011, to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they need.

Now more than ever, this day is an opportunity for action towards achieving full rights and recognition for widows. This includes providing them with information on access to a fair share of their inheritance, land and productive resources; pensions and social protection that are not based on marital status alone; decent work and equal pay; and education and training opportunities. Empowering widows to support themselves and their families also means addressing social stigmas that create exclusion, and discriminatory or harmful practices.

In post-conflict situations, widows should be brought in to participate fully in peacebuilding and reconciliation processes to ensure that they contribute to sustainable peace and security.

And in the context of COVID-19, widows must not be left out of our work to “build back better”. Let us ensure that our recovery prioritizes their unique needs and supports societies to be more inclusive, resilient and equal for all.

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